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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It is getting hot in here...

I went to Bikram yoga tonight for the first time & it was awesome! I can't wait to go again! Never have I sweat so much in my life! I love the heat...amazing. I was so sweaty both me and my mat needed a shower afterwards...Kendall was appalled. Mission accomplished! (just kidding!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wild Rice Caserole

Delightful! Even Kendall had seconds! Fair warning, it says it serves 6 but it only served 4 for us. We ate it as the main dish on a bed of salad greens.

And Audra, it has a whole onion & 3 cloves of garlic...not a recipe you would enjoy. But damn it was good!

Amazing Recipe!

We had this for dinner tonight & it was delicious! I would have it again in a heartbeat! (and I don't even like rice!) It's from Super Natural Everyday, by the 101cookbooks.com chick. So far all of the recipes have been delightful!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Done

We're done with the detox. Officially it ends Sunday, but we're done. I'm so happy with how it all went! I feel amazing! I'm still not craving meat. I have tons of energy. My skin looks great. My stomach is looking good.

We've tried so many new recipes, not all successful, but some are new favorites. It's so easy to get into a rut with your food. The best part of this detox has been breaking the food rut. I found that I love curry. Coconut milk is divine. Beets are tolerable in juice. I love roasted veggies. I am addicted to avocados (sometimes eating a whole one with a spoon!). Split peas, coconut milk & curry make the best soup ever!

Next week will be tough because I have something every single night, Tuesday thru Sunday. My hope is to continue the amazing eating we've been doing, but realistically I know I won't be perfect. There's this pizza joint in Bisbee I'm looking forward to! But that's ok. I've learned a lot about nutrition & about the difference in how I feel eating well. These changes will stick!

Tonight's meal was one of my favorites: spicy coconut shrimp stew. Mouthwatering, let me tell you! Here's the link for the cookbook: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0547195958

Soon I promise to blog about something other than food! I have a quick road trip coming up that I can't wait to share!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Guy

Can I just say how much I love this guy? 23 1/2 years later he still makes my heart skip a beat. He is my rock. My encouragement. Sometimes my annoyance. He believes in me, even when I don't believe in myself. Happy Birthday, honey. I love you!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 14

Today is day 14 of the detox. Only 7 days to go! I feel great! Bright. Not bloated. Happy (well, except an unfortunate incident with Kendall today). Not craving meat at all. I could seriously see myself as a vegetarian. One who eats fish & eggs, because, let's face it, I need it. Not so keen on the dairy, but we will see. My family? Um, no. I asked Don today what he missed most. His response? Everything. So much for change. I see so many positive changes in how I feel that I had hoped he'd be on board. Such is life. Just because they eat meat does not mean I have to. I've never really liked meat unless it's battered & fried...can you even call that product meat? I think not.

How can he not feel any different? Is he just too stubborn to realize he's lost weight & is healthier? That chips & Hawaiian Punch Zero Calorie Packs are not great for him? I feel so different, how can he not? We shall see how this plays out...

Snow Today...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Divine Soup

Don made dinner tonight...green lentil soup with curried brown butter.  Since in theory we are still doing the detox we couldn't use butter...so we substituted olive oil.  And of course, it was not served with bread, but with heavenly roasted veggies from our Bountiful Basket this weekend. 


Green lentils are split peas, I think.  Or you can use them interchangeably.  I can tell you that what I bought I thought were split peas in the bulk section at New Frontiers.  I've been trying to find a split pea soup recipe that a) did not include ham (Kendall doesn't eat pork) & b) didn't suck.  This soup was so damn good!  I can only imagine that it would be ever better with the butter!  And a big hunk of rustic bread.  It has curry & coconut milk in it...something Don & I are coming to really like.  Kendall took 2 bites & decided it was not for her.  But I loved it!  I'm already looking forward to the next time we have it!

Family

We had a family birthday party at my brother's house last night.  (My mom & Don's birthdays).  I didn't take too many photos because I was visiting with a family that I adore.  And the ones I took?  Yeah, they're a little blurry.  My new camera has some auto face sensing for focusing & it was not focusing on the faces I was taking photos of.  Mostly in the self portraits...something I need to figure out.  Or maybe it was the wine...yes, I briefly departed from my detox to have a couple of Coronas & some wine, ok, & a spoonful of my delicious chocolate frosting.  But I did great the rest of the time!  Fish, shrimp & steak tacos, heavenly guacamole, yummy beans, a delightful salad...& plenty of family to keep us happy! 

Kendall & MacKenzie

 My adorable hubby

Don & my mom

My little family

My dad & me


Our niece, Becky

My Mama

Our niece, Shannon

My brother, Dave

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lesson Learned

Cooking nightly is something that I've not done in a long time.  First of all, I never used to get home before 7 pm.  For 9 years.  If Kendall & Don wanted to eat before then Don had to cook.  So it just happened over time that Don did all of our cooking.  He's a fantastic cook, too!  But this detox was sending him over the edge.  The recipes were unfamiliar...the veggies they listed he had never heard of (delicata squash, anyone?).  I was coming home to a very frustrated husband.  And that was maybe day 2 or 3.  So I've been cooking all of our meals.  And I'm finding that I enjoy it...mostly, anyway.

I've been scouring websites (www.101cookbooks.com is a favorite) & cookbooks (mostly Moosewood Restaurant New Classics) looking for things that a) fit the requirements of the detox & b) my family will eat.  The big challenge here has been finding things my family will eat.  Now that is a challenge!  The only thing Kendall has liked were the kale chips (which we already ate before the detox anyway...they're fantastic!) & the cashew cauliflower curry.  Not a single other thing.  My husband is not an adventurous eater & it's stressing him out.  He's become quiet & brooding.  All he'll say is "it's fine".  Just what every cook who just spent 1 1/2 hours in the kitchen wants to hear!  Woohoo!

Tonight I tried a Thai coconut soup & Thai style scallop packets.  I thought they sounded fabulous.  Mistake number one was having Don meet me at the grocery store on my lunch.  Mistake number two was letting him see how much scallops cost.  The recipe called for 1 1/2 pounds of scallops.  New Frontiers had  two kinds, large ones for $19/lb & tiny ones for $9/lb.  He got the large ones & damn near passed out when they cost close to $30.  Expensive, yes. Not to mention the other stuff we needed for the soup & the scallop packets.  Next thing you know we've spent $80.  Holy shit!!  I was not expecting that!

I come home from work & start making dinner.  It all came together beautifully!  These are the scallop packets before cooking:


They were good...a little bland.  The soup was much better when I added salt.  Kendall ate the scallops, which she had never had before, until they tasted too fishy.  Don said he liked it but I don't believe him.  I'm telling you, he's in a weird mood!  Definitely not worth $80.  (What the hell did I buy?!)

I'll chalk this one up to a lesson learned:  new recipes may not cost over $20 for the ingredients.  Period. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Detox Day 9

Yesterday was one if those "I can't believe it's only been 9 days" kinda days. I woke up in a foul mood (see the post below). I have known forever that I eat when I'm stressed, sad, mad & yesterday was no different. I was starving when I got to work & promptly ate way more trail mix then I should have. Don brought me coffee & that was so sweet that my bad mood evaporated. Macy's has that effect in me! Too bad I can't drink a whole cup yet! Just too much caffeine.

For lunch I had some leftover lentil stew, which was better the night before, leftover gingered salmon & 1/2 an avocado. I have become obsessed with avocados! Damn, I love them!

Went to yoga & it was fabulous! Once again the teacher was so intuitive that all the poses she did involved stretches that I had just been told I needed to do to loosen up my back, hips & hamstrings. Random. But something really weird happened. In corpse pose you lay on the mat & completely relax & shut your eyes. This teacher sings a calming song & normally I just drift along. But last night every time I shut my eyes I saw this big, albino snake coming at me fangs bared. I am deathly afraid of snakes...I can't even look at pictures of them! I'd frantically open my eyes, close them again only to see the inside if the snakes throat. What the hell? Freaked me out! Hope to not repeat that again!

When I got home we had a heated family discussion about being responsible & doing what you need to do to be proud of yourself. Long story. We ended with a talk on quitting the detox early. Maybe Saturday for the family birthday party. We, ok I, talked about limiting processed food & meats. I think before we stop we will have to have a plan. One that is home cooked meals, limited eating out & way less meat. We'll see...it's something we all need to agree on. Easier said than done, but I'm optimistic!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy?

I may look happy but my attitude is anything but happy. I woke up finding fault with everything. Irritated. Annoyed. Pissed at the world. I hope this mood evaporates...I do not enjoy the thoughts in my head right now.  And all I want is a cup of coffee & a cupcake! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Detox Day 8

Today is day 8 of the detox. Jeez, only day 8? Other than a little coffee, I'm hanging in there. I love most of the veggies we've been eating. And I love the juice first thing in the morning. I can really see some of these things sticking with us! My sister in law loaned me a Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook & we've found some things we enjoy. Last night I made the salmon packets & jicama orange salad...both delicious!

Even with all this healthy eating my cravings for Pad Thai & a martini persist. And I will have them...after the detox. Everyone needs a treat now & again!

Coffee

I did it again...I couldn't help myself. I had hoped to stop at Macy's on my way to work but left a little to late for that kind of wait. This place makes good coffee, so I wasn't disappointed.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Beets.

I still don't love 'em.  And I don't think I ever will.  I did vow today that the next time I'm at the store I'll pick up that other color of beet...yellow?  What is it?  But man, it tastes like I just ate something out of the compost pile.  Disgusting. 

I belong to a Facebook group that's called :: the secret life of beets ::.  It's all about the virtues of juicing & smoothie making.  The administrator is passionate about beets.  Seems lots are!  As a matter of fact, my Uncle Bob sent me this email:

"Oh, you're so wrong about beets!  Beets play a major role in the novel, Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.  They have been one of my favorite vegetables since reading the book.  I often have them raw, without skins, in a salad.  Also roasted with potatoes and scallions - but you might want to put the beets in a little later than the potatoes."

Here's the excerpt that he's talking about:
 
The Bill
For Darrell Bob Houston
By Tom Robbins (from the last chapter of Jitterbug Perfume)


THE BEET IS THE MOST INTENSE of vegetables.  The onion has as many pages as War and Peace, every one to make a strong man weep, but the various ivory parchments of the onion and the stinging green bookmark of the onion are quickly charred by belly juices and bowel bacteria.  Only the beet departs the body the same color as it went in.

Beets consumed at dinner will, come morning, stock a toilet bowl with crimson fish, their hue attesting to beet’s chromatic immunity to the powerful digestive acids and thoroughgoing microbes that can turn the reddest pimento, the orangest carrot, the yellowest squash into a single disgusting shade of brown.

At birth we are red-faced, round, intense, pure.  The crimson fire of universal consciousness burns in us.  Gradually, however, we are devoured by parents, gulped by schools, chewed up by peers, swallowed by social institutions, wolfed by bad habits, and gnawed by age; and by the time we have been digested, cow style, in those six stomachs, we emerge a single disgusting shade of brown.

The lesson of the beet, then, is this: hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.  Once you’re brown, you’ll find that you’re blue.  As blue as indigo.  And you know what that means:
   Indigo.
   Indigoing.
   Indigone.

Uncle Bob, I love you, but I don't think I'm ever going to love a beet.  But I will keep trying...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Detox Days 5 & 6

Yesterday was the hardest so far.  I was hungry most of the day.  But it's also the first day in probably my life that I was craving the salad I brought for lunch.  Delicious!  Who knew adding walnuts & sunflower seeds could make it so good?  Or that balsamic vinegar is an excellent salad dressing?

Today was great.  We tried some new juice blends.  Two great, one not so great.  Had breakfast out at my brothers (ok, I had 1/2 a cup of coffee!  but I ate fruit for breakfast...so don't judge me...)  Then came home & swept up the garage...which turned into cleaning the garage & 3 hours later, we have a clean garage & I have a very sore back.  Such is life. 

The changes this week have been substantial:
  • I've been doing most of the cooking.  My 4 readers will tell you that I do not typically enjoy cooking.  I feel like it takes too long & I hate reading recipes.  But this week, I had to cook.  Or I'm certain my frustrated hubby would strangle me in my sleep.  
  • My sister in law loaned me a Moosewood cookbook & already I want to make so many recipes.  I am enjoying cooking.  Please do not pass out from the shock!
  • I tried beets.  See previous posts.
  • I'm enjoying salads.  And soups.
  • Other than a couple of doozy headaches, I feel great! 
A side note, Kendall threw in the towel yesterday.  She made it 4 1/2 days, which is 4 more than I thought she would.  She ate all her lunch stuff by 10 am & when lunch rolled around she was starving.  Starving is never good when you're detoxing...it just leads to quitting.  That & she refused to drink water.  Better that she's done.  

A Sweet Note

Ray & AJ are having a sleepover with us tonight.  We thought it would be fun to have them help us dig in the compost pile, since the bin is bulging.  They were totally un-interested when they spotted the sidewalk chalk.  Which is cool.  Especially since Ray drew me this super cute note:


Those little boys just melt my heart!   (In case you weren't sure, it says I love you anutie). 

On my list


Yes, I have a Kindle.  Yes, I still read regular books.  No, these are not all the regular books I have to read.  These just happen to be the ones on my dresser.  I'm in the middle of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and The Good Guy.  Don't you hate it when you start reading a book & the story seem so familiar that you're just sure you've read it already? I've become obsessed.  I likely have read The Good Guy, since I am a huge Dean Koontz fan.  But the story just seems familiar enough to be irritating.  I love to read...I'll get over it.

What books are on your dresser?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Detox Day 4

We are settling in. It's getting easier. It just takes planning. Tonight I'm making sweet potato "fries", kale chips & veggie kabobs with pineapple. Kendall took one look at the kabobs & said they looked great. See? We're making progress! Now if only I could get her to start drinking water...

Beets

They are supposed to be a super food. They are that...a super gross food. The mere thought of them makes me gag. Must have something to do with my mom trying to feed them to me as a baby...and said baby puking them back on her.

But hey, I'm trying! Don made beet juice with carrots & apple last night. It wasn't HORRIBLE. They didn't like it because it tasted muddy. I am nothing if not persistent & we will try again! Tonight I'm roasting a few beets...we'll see how that works (this time I peeled them...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Detox Day 3

Every day is getting a little easier, body wise.  Food wise, it's still hard.  Why is it that healthy food takes so long to prepare?  And why must it cost 10x that of crap food?  We've made a trip to the grocery store every day this week.  I shudder to think about how much we've spent.  I'm also finding that vegetables take a few tries before you can really decide if you like it or not.  We've spent so much of our lives eating what was easy, recipes we were familiar with, nothing all that interesting.  Now we're eating cashew curry, steamed broccoli with tahini sauce (nasty, by the way), kale chips (loved before the detox!), nuts & fruit, juicing carrots & grapefruits, and well, not much else so far.  That's part of the problem.  It takes planning to do a detox.  And the planning sucks just as much as the cooking part. 

My whole house is frustrated.  I keep telling them they do not need to do the detox.  Eat what you want, I don't care (it would actually be easier!).  But they persist.  Stubborn.  I guess there are worse things to be stubborn about.  I came home from yoga tonight, thinking that Don would have dinner done, instead what I found was a trashed kitchen & a frustrated husband.  This detox may just kill us.  We may have to modify.  Will keep you posted.

1 Down...51 To Go


One of my goals this year is to complete 52 yoga classes.  That's just one time per week.  Tonight was my first class of the 52.  And it was awesome!  How is it you walk into a yoga studio after a day of feeling tightness in your legs only to have the yoga teacher do nothing but leg work?  How do they know?   I really love the class that I found at The Yoga Experience.  It's a "basics" class, but that doesn't mean for beginners.  It's basic yoga poses.  I want to laugh when she does super hard stuff...my body just does not bend that way.  But it will.  Maybe by class number 52!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Detox Day 2

Yesterday, well, it was a challenge, that's for sure!  Don & Kendall both wanted to participate in it, which is not something I'm used to.  It requires much more planning when your family participates.  You have to plan meals, prepare food & think of their likes & dislikes.  It was totally stressing me out!  Not to mention a screaming headache that sent me to bed at 8 pm...OMG I thought for sure I was done! 

Today was easier.  By far.  For me.  Kendall is grumpy from not drinking enough water & when you mention it she bites your head off.  But the food was easier today.  I don't particularly care for the recipes that the Whole Living Challenge recommends so I decided to check out the vegan recipes on 101cookbooks.com.  (I picked vegan because the first week of the challenge is fruits/vegetables/nuts/olive oil basically.)  There are so many I want to try!  I have Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking cookbook, but truth be told I've really not made anything from it.  I adore the photos in it & secretly hope that I could sneak some of the recipes into our repertoire without my family realizing it was healthy.   Well, now I can!

Tonight I made this leek soup (minus the dill because I couldn't find any at New Frontiers tonight).  It was good.  I'll probably make it again.  I suspected that maybe Don & Kendall wouldn't love it so I also made cashew curry, just to try.  It was so good!  Kendall even had seconds!  I had to leave out the tofu because of the detox, but man, it was tasty!  We will definitely make it again!



I'm not sure what's on the menu tomorrow night...that's up to them.  I'm going to try to squeeze into what I can only surmise will be a packed yoga room.  The first of my goal of 52 yoga classes in 2012. 

You might be wondering why the detox.  Well, a couple of reasons.  I've been listening to a ton of podcasts on health & nutrition & a common theme among them is that sugar causes inflammation in your body.  I eat way too much sugar & I have a back that hurts way too much.  I won't give up sugar forever...are you kidding me?  It's a trial to see how my body reacts to all sorts of different things.  I'd love to feel better, feel like I'm taking care of myself.  Plus, veggies & fruit are great for you.  So why not?  Another reason is that my family eats too much crap.  It's a way to get us all to clean up our acts, if only for a little while.  My hope is we'll feel so much better that we'll not want to eat out & eat junk so much.

Maybe this detoxing thing is not so tough after all...we shall see.

New Camera

Don bought me a new camera for Christmas.  It's a little point & shoot Sony Cyber-shot that takes pretty amazing photos.  One of my favorite features is that it takes a 10 frame panoramic shot.  Just hold down the shutter button & slowly rotate the camera & you get this:

 Christmas Day, 2011
It takes great close ups, too:
Christmas Day, 2011

And it takes some pretty fantastic sunset photos!  No editing required!

New Year's Eve, 2011

I still have my Nikon D80, and I still love it!  But it's nice to have a camera that slips into my pocket or purse easily.  Doesn't hurt that it's 16.2 megapixels, either! 

Walking Buddies


Doris & Veronica are my walking buddies at work.  We walk on both of our breaks & during lunch.  Our job is ultra sedentary so any walking we can get into the day is a good thing! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Blah...

This was a good idea this morning. Last week even. But tonight? Not so much. My head is killing me (caffeine withdrawals, I suspect). Don is getting sick. Kendall wants to participate but has hated 3 of the 4 things I made today. Figuring out what to eat has been tough, too. Grrrrr.... This will get easier or I will throw in the towel. This IS good for me, right?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

365

I'm sure you've heard of the 365 photo challenges that are prevalent around the blogosphere.  I've never committed to participating in one, because frankly, it's a lot of damn work.  But today while I was out walking Maggie, it struck me that 365 could be fun.  So I'm going to try.  You may see a post each day....or you may see one post with 100 photos.  But hey, that's all part of the fun! 

So let's start with today, January 1st.  My day was super exciting!  I slept til 9:30 am, which is unheard of!  Then off to see Mission Impossible:  Ghost Protocol (pretty exciting!).  I took Maggie for a 5 1/2 mile walk, which was nice, with the exception of a jackass who let his dog run out of the house, down the driveway, and into our path.  I cleaned out the fridge because our family is doing a "fun" detox starting tomorrow.  So here's my after photo.  You don't want to see the before...


I wish I could say my fridge always looked this healthy.  But alas, if it did, we wouldn't be doing a detox tomorrow.  Here's the Whole Living Challenge that Don & Kendall thought they'd like to do with me.  I have no idea why they agreed, but I'm rolling with it!  Fruits & veggies won't kill us.  Right?

PS:  I have no idea why I have 4 dozen eggs.  Ridiculous.  Oh, an if you need some sour cream, I have 2 1/2 containers of it that we cannot eat by the expiration.  Just let me know if you want it.  That, too, is ridiculous!

One Little Word

For several years, I've been picking a word as my mantra of sorts for the new year.  I got the idea from a scrapbooker named Ali Edwards.  Last year my word was faith.  As in, faith in myself.  I had made a big decision by selling the store & changing my life completely & faith in myself is what I needed to get through the day.  Get a new job.  Start new.

This year, my word is SERENITY.  It took me a really long time & many word changes to come up with the word for 2012.  

se·ren·i·ty [suh-ren-i-tee]

noun, plural -ties for 2.
1.  the state or quality of being serene,  calm, or tranquil; sereneness.
2.  ( usually initial capital letter ) a title of honor, respect, or reverence, used in speaking of or to certain members of royalty (usually preceded by his, your,  etc.).
What I liked most about SERENITY were the synonyms for it: 
 
Main Entry:
serenity [suh-ren-i-tee]
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: calm, peacefulness
Synonyms: calmness, composure, cool, patience, peace, peace of mind, placidity, quietness, quietude, stillness, tranquility
 
This is what I hope to achieve this year.  No more frantic-ness.  No more worrying.  No more stressing.  Just calm, peaceful & serene.   Wish me luck!  

What's YOUR word?